Hopefully, there wasn’t a patient lying in that hospital bed when the machine malfunctioned.
Blue dye helps repair spinal cord damage, turns rats into cute animals: Researchers at University of Rochester Medical Center injected mice with spinal cord injuries with a derivative of food coloring Blue Number One. The Brilliant Blue G dye, which helps control the activity of ATP by blocking its activation of P2X7 receptors, was shown to help repair the injured spinal cords — treated animals even started moving their previously paralyzed limbs.
Qualcomm CEO confirms LifeComm shutdown: At the recent Qualcomm Smart Services Leadership Summit, CEO Paul Jacobs confirmed Mobihealthnews‘ recent scoop that the company’s healthcare focused MVNO LifeComm had become irrelevant. The website broke the news that LifeComm was shutting down two weeks ago. “After working for a few years to get the venture capital lined up, we were hit with the economic downturn. In the meantime, operators have done these open initiatives,” Jacobs said. “Lifecomm as an MVNO became irrelevant. Events overtook it.
An unlikely pairing between organized labor and one of its most ardent foes is emerging in Washington, as players from all sides of the issue jockey for seats around the healthcare reform debate table.
Andy Stern, president of the Service Employees International Union, is joining forces with Wal-Mart Stores Inc. in the oddest coupling since Oscar and Felix shared an apartment, according to the Wall Street Journal (subscription).
Blind drivers coming to road near you: A group of students at Virginia Tech’s College of Engineering are building a car for the blind. With the assistance of a laser range finder, the car’s on-board computer guides the driver to avoid obstacles.
Physicians Interactive buys classic mobile medical publisher Skyscape: Digital sales and health marketing company Physicians Interactive acquired mobile medical content publisher Skyscape late last week for an undisclosed sum. According to a PI press release, the deal gives its partners access to Skyscape’s more than 1 million users. Skyscape’s mobile apps and PDA programs for health practitioners compete with similar offerings from Epocrates, Thomson Reuters and many more.
Qualcomm looks at its options for LifeComm: It’s been more than four years since Qualcomm first announced plans to help launch a healthcare-focused mobile phone service called LifeComm. Qualcomm and its (still) undisclosed partners recently decided it was time to pull the plug on LifeComm, after failing to raise additional third-party funding, an anonymous source told mobihealthnews. LifeComm is just one of many of Qualcomm’s health initiatives.
BrainNavigator: An online atlas to browse brain structures: Elsevier just released the official version of the BrainNavigator online virtual brain browser, an application developed in cooperation with the Allen Institute for Brain Science. Featuring a 3D interactive video interface, as well as traditional slices from a variety of animal brains, the software is designed for quick identification of neuroanatomical structures for scientists studying the organ.
Healthcare industry tells Congress members to leave their ideologies at home
According to the “Healthcare Leadership Conference” — a consortium of insurance companies, healthcare providers, pharmaceutical and medical device firms — fixing the U.S. healthcare system will require a bi-partisan agreement that avoids ideological bugbears and has broad appeal to the American people.
In a letter to Congressional leaders, the group wrote, “Action that affects the well-being of every American and one-sixth of the nation’s economy should involve vigorous debate and deliberation, ultimately leading to a measure that has broad, bipartisan support.”
That means, natch, ditching proposals for the single-payer option favored by some of the more liberal among us:
Wireless health reimbursement rate cut: After months of rumor and analysts’ speculation, Highmark CMS cut the reimbursement rate for wireless cardiac monitoring MCOT services from $1,123.07 to $754. While some analysts were anticipating a rate drop on the order of $200 for the past few months, the rate cut was almost double that. CardioNet, the only pure-play wireless health company that has gone public, is credited with creating the reimbursement codes for MCOT or wireless cardiac monitoring after receiving them in the first quarter of this year.
Brain micro-electrodes create new possibilities: Neurosurgeons from the University of Utah have developed new tiny electrode arrays that do not penetrate the surface of the brain, potentially preventing many of the side effects common to modern high precision electrodes. Similar to electrocorticography arrays, the micro-ECoG devices may be small enough for permanent placement under the skull.